Vendome Sees a Potential Jackpot in Mexico
By Ted Niles
You don’t often hear the 2008 market crash described as a good thing, but to Franz Kozich-Koschitzky it was. Without that event, the President and CEO of Vendome Resources (TSXV:VDR) has no doubt that the company’s southwestern Mexico land package would have been scooped up by a larger company. “It was the luck of the financial crisis,” Koschitzky declares, “or we wouldn’t have it.”
The land package consists of three properties on the Sierra Madre Del Sur belt in Guerrero State: the 253-hectare San Javier property, the 14,722-hectare La Diana property and the 2,000-hectare San Miguel property. San Javier and La Diana were acquired by private resource company Camsim Minas SA in 2008, and between 2010 and 2011 Vendome entered into option agreements with Camsim to acquire a 50% interest in both. Vendome acquired a 100% interest in San Miguel—surrounded on all sides by La Diana—in August 2011.
What makes the properties unique, and underscores the importance of the timing of Vendome’s acquisition, is their location. Until recently, the infrastructural disadvantages of the area outweighed its long-recognized mineral potential. Over the last five years, however, the Municipality of Malinaltepec has seen a surge of development in the form of modern roads and power. As a consequence, this virgin territory—which Camsim President Derek Sutherland has described as “as though you’re walking into Mexico 400 years ago, when the Spaniards arrived”—is suddenly available to modern exploration.
Work to date has focused almost wholly on the San Javier property, and Koschitzky notes that “the very significant work there is beginning right now.” A geological team from ACA Howe will be flying to Mexico this weekend to undertake a four- to six-week initial exploration program to determine drill targets. The program will include establishing a control grid for magnetic surveys and soil sampling, induced polarization surveys on select areas, thorough sampling of vein systems and testing for lower-grade mineralization.
San Javier, which is surrounded on three sides by La Diana, is the logical starting place for an exploration program given the property’s history of artisanal mining and an abundance of silver mineralization visible at surface. During the 1970s and 1980s, small-scale mining at San Javier is reported to have produced ore averaging 1 kilogram silver per tonne. Koschitzky adds that even the tailings of the artisanal operation have yielded silver grades as high as two kilograms per tonne.
San Javier chip samples reported February 1 include
- 1,277 grams per tonne silver, 2.39% lead and 2.51% zinc
- 242 g/t silver, 1.77% lead and 0.15% zinc
- 1,384 g/t silver, 0.46% lead and 0.01% zinc
- 657 g/t silver, 7.32% lead and 4.18% zinc
Channel samples (collected by the previous optioner in December 2010) announced January 24 include
- 8,060 g/t silver and 4.55% lead over 0.2 metres
- 4,560 g/t silver and 5.13% lead over 0.4 metres
- 4,920 g/t silver and 1.45% lead over 0.2 metres
- 4,350 g/t silver and 1.03% lead over 0.1 metres
- 4,260 g/t silver and 1.27% lead over 0.1 metres
Koschitzky comments, “You step out of the car and you see vein structure, vein structure, vein structure. It’s an absolute dream. I’ve seen so many properties in my life where you have some outcrops, and you take some samples. In this case, because you see the veins and because, to date, our extensive sampling suggests that the majority of the veins on the property host high-grade silver, tremendous potential for silver mineralization exists right at the surface.”
I’ve seen so many properties in my life where you have some outcrops, and you take some samples. In this case, tremendous potential for silver mineralization exists right at the surface —Franz Kozich-Koschitzky
Following ACA Howe’s work, Koschitzky expects to begin drilling three targets in May or June. The results of that drill program will determine how the company should proceed: continue to focus on San Javier or set its sights on La Diana, which shares very similar geology. “We don’t know what the average grade is,” Koschitzky explains. “We don’t know how deep it is. We’ve done channel samples over the whole hill and we’ve got high grade and low grade between them and on the other side. The chances are extremely good, but it’s only one hill and we have several. At La Diana you see the same structure, and it’s totally untouched. So we may have several deposits.”
The partnership with Camsim gives Vendome a notable advantage, Koschitzky argues. Because it is a Mexican company, Camsim has been able to establish good working relationships with state and local governments. He adds, “We are not seeking to be miners. What we’re trying to achieve is the discovery of a high-tonnage silver deposit.”
Koschitzky reports that the company is well funded for the short term with $600,000 cash on hand, in addition to shares earned from the September 2011 sale of its option in the Ontario Highway 101 property to Lake Shore Gold TSX:LSG. He concludes, “In my view, this is our jackpot.”
At press time, Vendome had 37.2 million shares trading at $0.255 for a market cap of $9.5 million.
Disclaimer: Vendome Resources Corp is a client of OnPage Media, and the principals of OnPage media may hold shares in Vendome.